[iDC] One Laptop Per Child - MIT/Negroponte Initiative

John Hopkins jhopkins at neoscenes.net
Fri Jan 11 22:53:03 UTC 2008

Sorry, this one's a bit late, didn't cc the list... so FWIW...

>Technology is not inherently dehumanizing or oppressive. But it is 
>subordinate to the political. I fear Fatima is right -- that all 
>sorts of unintended consequences will arise from questions left 

I would disagree with this statement -- completely -- (I'd suggest a 
reading of Langdon Winner's book "Autonomous Technology" for a good 
refutation of that 'neutrality' argument)  Nor is it subordinate to 
the political -- the techno-political system is almost independent of 
what we consider traditional politics (to the degree of being 
independent of the political system!).  Witness the similarities in 
'development' in all of the widely differing political systems -- 
communist, democratic, socialist, even despotic regimes -- Hugo 
Chavez is no more 'in control' of the petro-technological system than 
dear Cheney.  They may appear to be, but they are merely taking 
incremental advantage of their positions riding the tiger to build an 
illusion of command and control.  Of course, if you are simply 
talking about the politics of power, humans are always caught in a 
struggle to use technology to gain advantage over their neighbor, but 
again, that's riding the tiger, not directing its motion ...

I would heartily support Brad's statement, on the other hand, in 
critique of the equating of consumption with power.  this is more 
than illusion, it's downright dangerous to follow that pathway...


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